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Bowhunting Get Together a Huge Success

by Justin Zarr 24. June 2011 05:51
Justin Zarr

Building on the tradition of the past 2 years, the staff here at was extremely excited about our 3rd annual Get Together. Much like deer camp, this event has become an annual tradition that we all look forward to. Each year we dedicate quite a bit of our time and energy to making the event bigger and better than the year before and this was no exception.

As you may have read on Cody Altizer's blog, the event started for us on Friday June 10th with our Hunting Network staff meeting. Seeing as though many of our team members are located all over the country this is a great opportunity for everyone to get together and go over a few of the finer points that help make the finest bow hunting website in the world. We were also fortunate enough to have several of our Sponsors pay us a visit to inform everyone about their companies and their products.

The following day, June 11th, the official Get Together was held at Coon Creek Hunt Club in Garden Prairie, IL. This even is open to anyone who wants to come out and enjoy a day of good old fashioned fun. Which means if you haven't been to an event yet, you better be there next year!

We started the day off with getting everyone signed up and assigned to a team, then it was time to start shooting. As always we had numerous shooting events set up for everyone to participate in.

A group of shooters getting signed up the the day's events.

Yours truly giving some basic safety instructions before beginning the shoot.

The gang from Pine Ridge Archery making their way out to the course.

Thanks to our friends at Rinehart Targets, our 3-D course was better than ever! We had a dozen new archery targets that were in tip-top shape which made both scoring and arrow removal inifinitely better than in previous years. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of shooting a course with Rinehart targets I highly recommend you do so as soon as possible. Having shot at just about every 3-D target on the market I can unquestionably say these targets are the best. In fact, we threw awal all of our non-Rinehart targets simply because they had fallen apart to the point they were unusable.

And you thought a wounded bear was dangerous?  Here Steve Flores finds out what happens when you don't put a Velociraptor down on the first shot!

A great shot of an arrow in flight, courtesy of Jason McKee.

Clinton Fawcett taking aim with his Z7 Xtreme Tactical on the practice range.

Jared Schlipf from Lone Wolf Treestands showing off his perfect shot on the elk from 60 yards.  Luck, or is he just that good?

A group of shooters tallying up their scores after shooting at the 30 point buck.

When all of the scores were tallied up it was 1st time attendee Tony Platt who went home with the 1st place trophy. Pro Staff members Dean Krueger and Dustin DeCroo came in 2nd and 3rd place respectibly.

Our long distance shoot for this year was set at roughly 70 yards, which made it pretty challenging for a lot of our shooters. Personally speaking I only have pins out to 50 yards for my bowhunting needs so it was an "aim high and pray" moment! Although my long range skills weren't very impressive, some of our shooters were remarkably accurate. In the end it was none other than Jared Schlipf, President of Lone Wolf Treestands, who went home with the RhinoBlock target for this long range accuracy. Nice shooting Jared!

John Mueller taking aim at the Rinehart RhinoBlock.  How far is that again?

Jared showing us how long distance shooting should be done.

In the Iron Buck Challenge we had quite the competition this year. In the end, after some fancy one-foot shooting and quite a few busted arrows it was Forum member Steve Renner (Dawg007) who went home with the $100 cash prize. Congrats Steve!

"Rusty" certainly claimed his fair share of arrows over the course of his two days spent in Illinois.

Todd with the lucky winner of the Iron Buck Challenge.

We also had the 5 target pop-up 3D Challenge back again as well. Although Dustin and I both turned in scores of 56 out of 60 on multiple occassions, it was the shoot operator Mark Wagner who turned in a perfect score of 60/60 to take top honors. I'm calling an unfair home-field advantage on this one, but it was good shooting regardless!

The big winner of the day was long-time friend, supporter and target-builder Dan Richardson (aka bloodcrik) who went home with a brand new Mathews z7 Xtreme. Congrats to Dan, he definitely deserved it! Dan already has his new bow set up and shooting great - check out his Forum post here.

Our friends at Lone Wolf donated a new Alpha Hang-On II treestand to our raffle, which was won by our friend Ryan Culvey. I know he's extremely excited to get that stand hung before October rolls around. I have to admit that I'm a little jealous of Ryan. Even I don't have a new Lone Wolf stand yet!

A big extended THANK YOU goes to all of our Sponsors who attended the event and donated prizes for the raffle! That includes Mathews, Lone Wolf, New Archery Products, Tink's, Monster Raxx, Pine Ridge Archery, Rinehart Targets and Rut Junkie Apparel.

All in all, the day was a huge success with over 90 of our best bowhunting friends in attendance. Everyone had a great day of shooting, hanging out with good friends, and enjoying the great outdoors. We can't thank you all enough for coming out and we're hoping to see you all again next year!

We'll be ready for next year.  Will you?


What a Weekend! Trip to Northern Illinois a Dream Come True

by Cody Altizer 29. June 2010 10:43
Cody Altizer

What a weekend!  When I left Virginia early Thursday morning, I don’t think it’s possible I could have imagined a more perfect trip to Northern Illinois.  I was looking forward to the trip west; driving through the mountains of West Virginia, across the Ohio River, through Indiana farmland and into the beauty and nostalgia that is Northern Illinois.  However, the events that followed made this one of the best weekends of my life.

    Friday morning started off with a trip to the office to meet Todd and Justin and before I knew it, I was working on my first blog as a Pro Staffer!  It was cool to just be working alongside Todd and Justin after following them through their gear review blogs and videos the last two years.  After publishing my first blog, a review and video of the Gorilla Exo-Tech Safety Harness, Todd and I grabbed lunch at Cheeseburger in Paradise where we further discussed my responsibilities as a Pro Staf Gear Reviewer.  Here I am, one day just a farm hand from Western Virginia, the next, a member of the best bowhunting team in the country!

Here I am shooting my bow off Todd's back porch.  While he got the better of me overall, I did manage to outshoot him on a couple of targets!

After getting back to the office we realized we embarrassingly had forgotten to grab Justin something to eat, who had worked through lunch.  Sorry Justin!  That afternoon we stayed busy around the office working on final preparations for the Get Together the following day.  Once our work at the office was complete, and I managed to break the parking garage door, Todd and I headed to his house to shoot a few arrows to make sure we were dialed in.  Although I got the better of Todd on a couple shots, he outshot me overall.  Jason from New Archery Products (NAP) then showed up and the three of us spent the better part of an hour just sitting on the back porch, enjoying a summer afternoon and of course, talking about bowhunting products.  In the process, Jason managed to sell me on the NAP 2-Blade Bloodrunner, which I’ll hopefully introduce to some Virginia whitetails this fall.  The day concluded with a trip to Paradise Campgrounds where I was finally able to personally meet some of the guys whose gear reviews I've been reading.  Even though I didn’t get to stay long, it was nice to put some faces with names with some of the guys!

Having little time to make sure Friday wasn’t a dream, Saturday morning found me at Coon Creek Hunt Club ready for a day of shooting bows.  Admittedly, I was pretty nervous about the shoot because I had never shot in front of anyone but my brother and I think it showed!  I got off to a rocky start, however, once I settled down a bit I shot consistently well.  I did have the chance to witness some great shooting by the other members in my group.   Fellow Pro Staffer Dustin DeCroo made an unbelievable 108 yard shot on the 3-D elk; right in the kill zone!  Pro Staffer Jessica Edd dispels the notion that men are superior archers than women making great shot after great shot all day.  All the while Richie Music smoothly punched the 3-D targets with as only a left-handed shooter could!

Perhaps what I enjoyed most on Saturday, however, was finally meeting my good buddy Mike Willand.  Mike has been a big supporter of my writing and I have to thank him the most for this awesome opportunity.  I’ve been emailing and conversing over the phone with Mike for the better part of two years, and I look up to him as a hunter, person and writer, so it was awesome to finally be able to meet him!

Unfortunately, I had to return home for work Monday morning, but I left Northern Illinois having experienced an incredible time.  I had little idea what I was getting into when I left for this trip, but by the weekend’s end, I had met some great people, competed against some awesome bowhunters, and had my dreams come true.  Look through my blogs from the Get Together for more pictures!  I’m really looking forward to sharing my bowhunting experiences and product reviews with you and I hope that I can provide information that will make you a better informed and more successful bowhunter!

God Bless and Happy Hunting!

2010 Get Together a Huge Success!

by Justin Zarr 28. June 2010 14:59
Justin Zarr

First and foremost I want to give a big THANK YOU to all of the people who came out to the Get Together this past Saturday.  For the 2nd year in a row this event was held at the Coon Creek Hunt Club in Garden Prairie, Illinois and the weather was nearly perfect.  Although a few people left with some sunburns, everyone left with a smile on their face and memories to last a long, long time.

The day started off with a group sign-up and then picking of teams for the 3 shooting events.  After teams were drawn and the rules were explained teams broke up and headed into the field for some friendly competition.

The gang signing up and getting ready to shoot.

Our main event, the 3-D Smackdown, was won by possibly the youngest attendee of the shoot.  Young Isaac Siman from Ohio walked away with the coveted first place trophy after scoring a 149 out of 160 possible points.  A big congrats to the fine young archer who also walked away with the high score on the pop-up 3D tournament.  Nice shooting Isaac!

Congrats to the winners!

Isaac and I shooting the pop-up 3d course.  I must admit, it's a lot harder than it looks.  Especially with a bunch of people standing around watching.

The long distance event was one by our good friend Cody from Treehopper after he beat out last year's winner, staff member Dustin Decroo.  Cody went home with a brand new Rinehart Rhinoblock target for his well-placed shots at 70 yards.

How far is that again?

This year's sporting clays shoot winner was none other than yours truly.  After only shooting my new bow for a few weeks I wasn't expecting to place very well in any of the shoots, but I must admit the new Elite Judge shoots awafully well and certainly helped in my victory.  I was joined in the final round of shooting by none other than Isaac Siman, who seemed to be in just about every championship round on Saturday, and Dean Elbe from Treehopper.  Although they both shot well, I was just barely able to pull off the win.  The real test comes next year when we see if I can hold on to the crown!

Yours truly shooting in the finals of the Sporting Clays competition.

Possibly the most exciting event of the day was shooting at "Fergie" the Bionic Buck.  Our good buddy Mr. Bloodcrik from Indiana was kind enough to make us our very own metal target, and he claimed more than a few arrows on this fateful day.  Despite costing us a few arrows, we all had a blast taking shots from 40 yards and beyond.  By the way, if any of you need new arrows you can get them here!

Fergie the Bionic buck certainly can do some damage!  Video to come shortly.

Another thank you goes out to Jason McKee from New Archery Products and Dean Elbe from Treehopper.  Both of these guys drove several hours to be at our event and let the faithful know about the great products they have to offer.  Anyone looking to pick up a Treehopper belt before this fall can click here, and anyone looking for some NAP products can click here for broadheads, here for rests, and here for those amazing Quikfletch!

Finally, a big congratulations goes out to Kevin Lane, winner of a brand new Diamond Iceman FLX bow.  Kevin won the $20 bow raffe and went home with a brand new bow for his troubles.  Can't really beat that.

All in all this was another great event that drew over 50 serious bowhunters who were able to enjoy a day in the sun, some friendly competition, and go home with some cool new bowhunting gear.  Plans have already started for next June so keep your calendars open, you won't want to miss this!  Remember, eveyone is invited to this shoot regardless of age, skill, type of bow, or where you live.  It's all about having fun!

I leave you all with this fine photo of Diamond Don, doing what he does best - not killing any deer!  (Sorry buddy, I couldn't resist).

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